Every year, our annual media summit attracts people from around the world. Some have called it “inspiring,” “thought-provoking,” and even “life-changing.” Here’s what some former participants had to say about the experience…
Kevin Becker, Senior Partner Organizational Resilience International, LLC
"As a psychologist who specializes in trauma I have spent my professional career supporting victims and survivors of virtually every type of tragedy, from abuse to natural disasters. Members of the media are often thought of by trauma victims, as people "to be avoided." Unfortunately many victim service providers have this same attitude. My experience with the attendees at ivoh has consistently shown me the value of the media in helping victims heal. The yearly Summit has been an astounding display of the thoughtful and meaningful work that happens around the world by members of the media. It has enabled me to enlighten others in my field to the important role the media can play for those who have suffered through tragic events."
"I arrived at the summit feeling drained from work and skeptical of the 'spiritual' aspect of the proceedings, but — this sounds hokey but it happens to be true — by the time I left Peace Village five days later I was completely refreshed and recharged. I wanted to stay longer. I met and engaged with amazing people who had the same passion for storytelling and the same craving to use storytelling as a force for good in the world. It’s the only meeting of journalists I’ve ever attended that sought to integrate the practical with the spiritual, and I came away from it feeling inspired and eager for the next project."
Alex Tizon, 2016 ivoh fellow, Pulitzer prize-winning reporter, and professor at the University of Oregon
Carol Zuegner, Ph.D., Associate professor of journalism at
As a veteran of the newsroom and the classroom, I found the ivoh summit a perfect way to listen, absorb and learn different paths to storytelling and journalism and just about everything. The lessons and takeaways have stayed with me — in my own approaches to classes and my own approach to life. The creative energy and enthusiasm there was contagious. I loved being able to talk to artists, computer programmers and journalists. Unlike many traditional conferences, here was a place where everyone was all in: Engaged and connected. The summit was a terrific experience, both professionally and personally.
I was so moved by the sessions and speakers and spent a lot of time in listening mode. What I realized from our discussions at the summit is what is so absent from most of our conversations in our day to day. Often times in our work as storytellers we have to engage the heavy and the heartbreaking. It was incredibly freeing to speak in a language that marries the intellectual/political with the spiritual. Your organization has created a much-needed space in which those dialogues and that kind of language can be expressed freely. I can’t tell you how valuable and essential that is for me as well as the many others in this field. You’re carving out a blueprint, and reinforcing that blueprint, for what the future of journalism ought to be and can be. You’re countering the absence I described above and we are much more empowered to carry on this work because of it. I wish there were more ivohs in the world!
Ann DeMarle, ivoh Trustee, Director of Emergent Media Center & Associate Dean at Champlain College
What I love about ivoh is that it is a time to pause, to reflect and to share. What have we done, what would we like to do differently, how can we learn from each other? I love the exchange between the ‘olders’ … and the youth. Youth are at the forefront of new media. Olders possess a wisdom of experience. However, we are in a world of change with new ways of communicating but with deeply established ways of being. How do we create change? ivoh brings all of that to the surface and offers inspiration.
Andrea Olson, SEO Analyst
I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was quite excited to be amongst top minds in the fields of media, journalism, art, music and education. I certainly carved out time for self reflection and rest, but I felt the most engaged when talking with others who are veterans in their fields and listening. … I made great friends, shared thoughts and ideas about the weekend’s topic and generally enjoyed the Catskills. It’s a powerful, uplifting weekend.
Lee Anne McClymont, Producer and Host, Courage Cocktail Radio Show
The entire program was moving. You created an atmosphere of trust and safety. These environments are rarely visible in social scenes and nearly extinct in professional retreats.
Megan Amrich, Content Specialist at 3BL Media
At first, I hesitated signing up for the ivoh summit. ... I am so glad I decided to attend, though.
I was excited to meet people from a variety of professional fields other than journalism during the weekend – art, social work, academia, business, and psychology, to name a few. The variety of experiences and backgrounds represented made the discussions and seminars that much more interesting and impactful. I felt that each of us was able to take what we needed most from the discussions in the way that helped us grow most, both personally and professionally.
It’s been more than a year since the ivoh summit, and I still keep in touch with several of the people I met during the event. I think the very theme of the event – communicating hope and resilience – created personal and professional bonds that will last for years to come.
Jonah Rosenberg, Photographer
[At the summit], I think the most essential and resonant thing for me was hearing about the accomplishments, projects, and passions of the other attendees -- people with an incredibly wide range of personal and professional backgrounds who have done such a wide variety of inspiring things.
Angie Wang, Chief of Staff to documentary filmmaker Abigail E. Disney
What an inspiring and thought provoking weekend. I was also impressed by the diversity of the different backgrounds and expertise represented at the summit, and how by the end, everyone felt so connected with one another. It really is a ripe setting for creative collaboration!